WASHINGTON — House Democrats failed Thursday in their efforts to force the Bush administration to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices as Republicans stuck to their demands for a vote on an expansion of offshore drilling.
Despite winning majority support, the measure to draw 70 million barrels of light crude oil from the reserve for sale in the commercial market did not receive the two-thirds support needed under special rules. The vote was 268 to 157, 16 short of the margin needed.
Republicans held together to stall the measure, which Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, and others ridiculed as shortsighted because it would do nothing to increase the production of oil. The lighter crude, which can be more easily refined, would be replaced in the reserve with a heavier crude. [In Full @ The New York Times]
The director of a leading US cancer research institute has sent a memo to thousands of staff warning of possible higher risks from mobile phone use.The Senate may go into special session on Saturday, the Housing Rescue Bill will be heard.
Ronald Herberman, of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said users should not wait for definitive studies on the risk and should take action now.
He said children should use mobiles in emergencies only and adults should try to keep the phone away from the head.
No major academic study has confirmed a link to higher brain-tumour risks.
Dr Herberman said his warning was based on early findings from unpublished data.
"We shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," he says.
"I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use," the memo says.
Dr Herberman's warning to 3,000 staff says children should be protected as their brains are still developing. [In Full @ BBCNews]
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